How This Egyptian Man Plans To Buy An Island To House Syrian Refugees Is Amazing
“I am serious with my intentions,” Naguib Sawiris tells FORBES over the phone, regarding the contents of his letter to the European leaders. “I want to feel good about having done something good. Provide me with the island and I will do the rest.”
Naguib Sawiris is an Egyptian Christian and billionaire philanthropist who is trying desperately to do whatever he can in order to save as many Syrian refugees as he can. Sawiris is planning on buying an island from Greece or Turkey to house the hundreds of refugees who are in great need of resources and a home.
During an interview with CNN’s, Telecom CEO Naguib Sawiris admitted that the tragic death of Aylan Kurdi ignited a flame within him and decided to do something about the refugee injustices. Aylan Kurdi was a two-year-old Syrian boy who died on the shores while trying to reach freedom with his family.
“I actually must admit, it’s the picture of Aylan that woke me up,” hyIt was a very touching picture. In addition to that, the way these pictures were coming out of Hungary, the way these refugees were being treated by the authorities there, and being, you know, beaten and put into the trains and buses, I mean it was just too much.”
Sawiris has sent letters to the prime ministers of Greece and Italy asking and pleading them to sell him an island so that he can house 100,000 to 200,000 refugees. And with a fortune of up to 3 billion, he is able to do just about everything possible for all those people in need.
“This war is not going to end in weeks or in months. It may be years even, So what do we do with these people meanwhile?…I met the minister of interior today and he was telling me that his biggest fear is that the winter is coming, it’s going to be snowing and how will they sustain this weather and everything? I mean, we need to move fast.”
There are, however, more than just buying a piece of land that will make everyone’s troubles go away. As Sawiris explains:
“You can’t just take people and put them on an island that you bought that falls under jurisdiction, They don’t have visas. We need – a passport control agency. We need people to check them out. You need their data. You need customs. So the real challenge of the idea is that to have the authorities accept the fact that you will host immigrants there, and specifically Greece has a lot of islands that are for sale and they should offer me an island for sale, but mainly accept that we host these immigrants there..”
If this plan really does become a successful action, Sawiris will name the island in memory of the Syrian boy who lost his life searching for a peaceful life.
According to an official UN report, 220,000+ lives have been lost in this turmoil. We ask that you all keep them in your prayers so that God will help them through their times of distress.
How much money he thinks this will cost is discussed in the second video.